Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Middle Grade Palooza!

Oh middle grade, how I love thee.

The best thing about middle grade is the art—you can go hog wild with wonderful artists in tween fiction. Action packed! Outrageously original! Animals! You almost guarantee there will be animals. I've been real dummy lately, not posting all this wonderful middle grade that's coming up. Why? I have no excuse. I present for us all to love and admire—the newest middle grade / chapter books coming our way.

First, let's start with action-adventure. Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan has a GIRL hero, dinosaurs, and a map that leads our hero into uncharted territory. Artist Eric Deschamps really knocks this action packed thrill ride out of the park!

4C glossy • logo over foil • emboss • matte UV • available May 2016

Next let's look at a whole other animal (boo, terrible joke!) Moo by all-the-awards-winning author Sharon Creech! Moo has one ornery cow, a reluctant handler, and a whole lot of wonderful characters in between. Half prose, half poetry, this book is truly astounding. Moo left me smiling, wondering, and loving this wonderful new cow, Zora. Artist Vincent Moustache perfectly captures Zora's "oh that cow!" attitude.

5c • overall matte • spot UV • available Fall 2016

Finally, Eleven and Holding. Honestly, I'm just going to leave this here. . . Available June 2016, Eleven and Holding will grab you by the feels. Artist Jori van der Linde brings main character Macy's struggles with growing up truly apparent in this beautiful, literary cover.  

4c • overall matte • spot uv • available June 2016

What were your favorite books as a kid? I always had a soft spot for that spunky Ramona Quimby . . . hit me up at @stinkysarahd and tell me your faves!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Fall of Butterflies redux

If you were to go on goodreads.com and look up Fall of Butterflies, this is the image that appears:

Tell me that's not gorgeous!

Two friends, Remy and Willa are connected thru "a passionate-yet-doomed friendship set against the backdrop of wealth and glamour." We loved the retro color palette here and how Remy and Willa were facing outward yet away from each other. They are looking into a web of sorts—yet those wings . . . those wings could take them anywhere if they weren't pinned down. And while they were pinned down, Remy and Willa were still the butterfly among the boring old moths. So many layers of meaning y'all!

I thought this cover spoke very well to the book itself. Book buyers, it seems, did not agree. Eep!

We got word that most sellers found this cover confusing and too retro. They wanted something that spoke to the author's previous book, ANATOMY OF A MISFIT. Which was interesting because I was hoping the colors here tied the line look of the two books together. (No, the two books are not related but we like to give each author a "look".)

Back to the drawing board.

The happiest of accidents can happen when you're cruising around in Photoshop. OK not accidents. . . inspirations. After a few days of playing, sorting and shifting a new cover for FALL OF BUTTERFLIES emerged.

Here each butterfly crushes the other, vying for a top spot. We've also moved away from illustration to photographic. 

What do you think? Do you like illustrated or photographic book covers better?

Let me know in the comments or hit me up @stinkysarahd I love to hear your thoughts! 

And look for FALL OF BUTTERFLIES in early May. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

January's sweet (and a bit sad) haul... (Bowie Alert)

This time last year I was freezing my hiney off in Chicago at the DAVID BOWIE IS... exhibit. Now, well now I'm trying to understand how anyone can deny the existence of climate change and crying as cha-cha-changes plays on repeat. (It's oddly warm, y'all *just kidding snow storm alert* and I still suffer from all the feels.)

Bowie's death was hard for me, as I know it was for anyone who ever had a freak bone in their body. I found it kind of comforting knowing I could (sorta) pay tribute to him and his influence with the release of SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN. The finished book landed on my desk last week. I was really, really happy to see that Aladdin Sane lightning bolt on the case—unwrap a copy and Watch That Man.

4c super gritty matte • one piece case with purple and black stamps

Gender roles. Breaking them / acknowledging that they're a bit different then we currently think of them. Anyway, go buy SYMPTOMS, It's really, really good. (Plus it's like, nice to touch and pet with it's gritty matte and silk screened art.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Red Queen Series: An incomplete yet comprehensive visual list of awesomeness (so far)

We are really close to finishing up all the special things for Cruel Crown and Glass Sword. 


But! The novellas are available and the bind-up is almost here—so much beautiful watery blood. So with that, Happy Halloween!

Digital novella available now!

Digital novella available 01/2016

Printed bind-up available early 2016
4C over silver stock / overall matte • spot UV / embossed title

*Such a tease.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Glass Sword

YAY, it's here! It's here! Glass Sword can finally be shared, and I have to admit it's freaking beautiful.

4C over sliver foil—2 hits white • embossed crown & title.
Blue color over silver achieved by the wizards in the Production Department

The amazing artists Toby & Pete created this crown of glass swords out of...nothing. NOTHING! When we convinced ourselves to continue the crown theme we ended up slightly empty handed. Guess what? Not a whole lot of glass sword crowns out there! I think Toby & Pete did an amazing job solving our problem. It's so perfect for the series, just beautiful.

Not to be a tease, but there's so much more Red Queen stuff coming. I'm so freaking excited. Victoria Aveyard is not not only a class act, but one hell of a writer. I was type setting the ARE and landed on the last sentence. OMG—had to read the entire book, it had me hooked again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Cover Reveal Week Day 2—The Shadow Queen



Ok so high concept fantasy books are super fun covers to work with. C.J. Redwine's newest book is an inspiration of Snow White and that poison apple needed to be legit.

Once we tackled the idea for a carved poison apple, there was literally no one better then Sean Freeman at Levine / Leavitt to execute this. Our email chains revolved around typography, water droplet placement, to where one could actually purchase an apple with a green leaf attached in the middle of winter where Sean lives . . . in London. (Spoiler alert, no where! Cue: digital leaf!)

Yes, that carved apple is actually carved. I don't know how the master of ceremonies did it. But it's awesome. I bet all will be revealed, yes? (oooo, foreshadowing!)

If you'd like to see more goodies about Shadow Queen, enter CJ's contest here for a chance to win an Advance copy.

The map inside will blow your mind. Oh, yes. There's a map. And it's magical.

What magical places inspire you? Tweet me at @stinkysarahd

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 22, 2015

Cover Reveal Week Day 1—Symptoms of Being Human

Today marks the first day of Cover Reveal week here at Harper! YES! Huzzah! Hooray!

Quite honestly Winter 2016 is going to be a Boss season for books. There a lot of awesome books (and covers to swoon over) coming up. Some are hotly anticipated sequels (#GlassSword, anyone?) and some are totally, unbelievably new—in every way— to YA.

When Symptoms of Being Human landed on my desk, I instantly knew I'd love it. For one, the story dealt with issues close to my own heart. For twos, it featured David Bowie. Bowie was my first and is my longest standing crush. Every single person who knew me in High School can back that up.  I mean, I made my partner fly with me to Chicago in January just to see David Bowie Is. Who else would fly to a colder place after New Years? Dance Magic, Dance.

Me, smiling in freezing admiration • Photo by the wonderful Joshua Ess 

But, back to Human. I won't say anything about the main character Riley because Riley does an excellent job speaking to what it means to be a gender-fluid teenager. Riley seems to find a lot of comfort in music when shit gets just a bit too real—something we can all identify with. Riley also seems to identify with Bowie. I think we've made a match.

After attacking Jeff Garvin's excellent manuscript in one full swoop, I felt as though Riley should be represented by the Thin White Duke. Hell, let's embody them both on the cover. So what, exactly, is cool enough to show Riley without giving it all away? Perhaps, a limited color palette and a rad hair cut would be just cool enough.

In an extra musical tip to the hat, we silk screen printed the entire jacket over at Gowanus Print Lab. The different levels in ink on the back cover and flap should help give this book a gig poster look. We will shoot these amazing pieces in house and digitize 'em—hopefully printing the cover on uncoated stock to give it a gritty paper feel.

Can't wait to read this nugget of awesome? Enter Jeff's contest here, for your chance to win an Advance copy. Even if you win, you'll want to buy this book. Unwrap the finished hardcover to reveal more Bowie inspired surprises. Also, you'll have yourself a sweet Gender Fluid / digitized-silk screen / Bowie inspired / paper flag. Hooray!

What music inspires you? Holler back at me on Twitter with your favorite musical inspirations at @stinkysarahd

Happy Reading!